It is written that for him who is on the threshold of divinity no law can be framed, no guide can exist. Yet to enlighten the disciple, the final struggle may be thus expressed: Hold fast to that which has neither substance nor existence. Listen only to the voice which is soundless. Look only on that which is invisible alike to the inner and the outer sense. Peace Be With You. —Light on The Path, Mabel Collins
This is the story of a journey to Shamballa Land in the Gobi desert of Mongolia undertaken by my wife Sharon and I in August 2007.
Sacred pilgrimage is a simultaneous journey through both the inner and the outer world in the attempt to reveal that which lies behind and is the source of both landscapes. At times the outer journey opens, through resonance, unexplored inner territories. At times the inner journey ensouls and gives meaning to the outer terrain. But always through both, the ear of the heart is being tuned to respond to the voice of the silence; to the presence of emptiness; to the one non-dual reality; to the sound of Shamballa.
Along with the inner and outer aspects of the journey itself there is also the wider context in which it occurs. Shamballa is a symbol for the supreme planetary centre—a symbol that has developed and embedded itself in the collective consciousness and the mythology of many cultures. In the individual sense
Shamballa represents the monad—the divine essence—that is source of the experience of both the soul and personality selves.
It is beyond the scope of this paper to outline the development of the concept of Shamballa in both the Eastern and Western traditions and this has been adequately covered by a variety of authors. (See the bibliography.) There are themes in common however—what we might call the Shamballa motif—that recur wherever this symbol of the supreme centre is found.
Firstly there is a centering symbol. It can be a mountain or a cave. It can be a sacred island like White Island. It can be a sacred tree or a fountain. The journey to the sacred centre is normally associated with a search for a talismanic object—a stone, a lost word
or a grail. There are normally guardians (dragons, scorpions, archers etc.) that protect a treasure (jewel, fruit, draught of immortality etc.) . The dualities of day/night, masculine/feminine and so on must also be overcome in order to pass through the guardians and gain access to the treasure or soma. Finally there is the story of the entry of the energy of the centre into the world with both vitalising and destructive results.
A number of authors have associated Shamballa with the Gobi desert, including HP Blavatsky, Helena Roerich and Alice Bailey. The decision to journey there in 2007 arose out of a number of inner and outer experiences which I will briefly mention to the extent that they are relevant here. Over a twelve year period between 1987 and 1999, on the same date in October every three years, I received a series of symbols in meditation that were developmental and associated with Shamballa and the emerging new schools. The first symbol in the series was a pyramid and the last an octahedron surrounded by a blue sphere with eight rays of light emanating from the centre and passing through each of the facets.
In 1999 the entire symbol burst into fire, coinciding with an inner call to make the journey to Mt Kailas and the Wesak Valley for the Shamballa impact of 2000. On return, Shamballa School was set up—the esoteric school established for a time at Highden1—and the same process of working with the archetype of the octahedron
took place in group formation. The group initiatory experience was guided by the Mercury transmissions2 which eventually led to a triangle of groups working together focused on the central diamond or the Life aspect. This process might be represented visually as follows:
The process is symbolic of the opening of the causal body, the revelation of the jewel and then identification with the Life aspect that allows for the transfer of identity into the triad and reorientation to the monad—or in the group sense to Shamballa.
In the emerging esoteric schools the focus will be on connecting monad to personality, while in the last dispensation the focus was on contact with the soul.
The pyramid of ancient Egypt is a fitting geometrical symbol for the last dispensation of the mysteries, indicating the building of the four-square personality and orientation to the soul as the quintessence or fifth principle.
The personality once formed, must be fused with its opposite— which can be represented by the downward pointing pyramid. When the fusion takes place the symbol of the diamond soul is created.
The threefold monad—soul—personality may be represented as follows:
And the two phases of the anchoring of the mysteries can be represented symbolically in this way:
The seven pairs of the new schools all have their root in the one fundamental school in Shamballa—which is to say that each of the schools has as its symbolic centre the archetype or ‘signature’ of Shamballa.
In Letters on Occult Meditation the Master DK outlines the pattern for the advanced schools3:
If we take this as a cross-section of a three-dimensional geometric figure we have:
In effect the spheres represent areas of inclusivity or ring-pass-nots, while the geometric figures represent the nested platonic solids which give the energetic structure.
The central point is the doorway in and out of the system. It is the eye within the triangle within the square within the sphere. Or three-dimensionally it is the point within the double tetrahedron within the octahedron within the cube.
Let the group together move the fire within the Jewel in the Lotus into the Triad and let them find the Word which will carry out that task. (Rule XI)4
The three levels of personality, soul and monad are represented by the outer universal ‘centres’ of planet, sun and black hole. These three levels also have their correspondence in each centre, so for example the Earth as a physical planet has a crust, a mantle and a core corresponding to the three levels. The causal body has three layers of petals, and so on.
A major context for the journey to the Gobi is that it coincided with the seventh year of the Shamballa impact cycle beginning in the year 2000, and also with the alignment between the galactic centre, the sun and the Earth (as well as other significant planets).
The potential exists therefore for the anchoring of a ‘seed’ or core pattern from the galactic centre corresponding to the sun’s monad or cosmic Shamballa, and also for a corresponding activation of planetary kundalini. This energetic impact passing through Shamballa should have an effect on the etheric-physical plane (for this is the seventh year in the cycle and the etheric-physical is the seventh plane).
So now let us switch from the inner archetype to the outer journey. In 2006 a temple called Shamballa Land in the Gobi desert was officially opened. A good background on the history of this centre can be found here: http://www.tibetan-museum-society.org/java/arts-culture-Shambhala-Rising.jsp
But briefly, it is designed as a ‘portal’ to the Shamballa energy. In 1853 the fifth Lord of the Gobi, a lama named Danzan Ravjaa, put on a tsam (a three-day dramatic dance) called The Way to Shamballa (developed by the third Panchen Lama) in this location and designated it as a place for a future temple.
Sixty-four trunks of treasures were buried in the desert during the Communist occupation. The process of excavating them again was begun by the sixth generation custodian (takhitch) in 1989 (when Uranus was conjoined the galactic centre).
On our arrival in Ulaanbaatar (the capital city of Mongolia) we arranged to meet with Altangerel, the man who is the current custodian of the centre in the Gobi and the driving force behind the construction of the temple. His story is a strange one. He was selected for this role as a child because of a moon -shaped birthmark on his back that had served as a sign for each of the custodians. His grandfather, the previous custodian, took charge of his upbringing and education which was conducted in secret. Part of that education was to be taken regularly to the seventeen places in the desert where the trunks were buried and to learn by rote the history and function of each item inside them. He was also taught to locate them by the light of the full moon on the 15th day of the middle month of the lunar year.
Through a translator we presented him with a large piece of river- worn greenstone (pounamu) from New Zealand. This was the piece that had travelled all over the three islands of New Zealand when we were looking for the location for the school in 1999. Many thousands of people had held this stone with the intent for right spiritual emergence in mind. Intuitively we took it as a symbol of spiritual connection between an emerging Seventh Ray centre in the southern hemisphere and Shamballa the crown centre of the planet.
It was a moving exchange. Altangerel spoke of a stone that was kept hidden away which his elders had told him was connected to other stones in other parts of the world. He saw the arrival of the greenstone as an outer confirmation of the work he had been patiently engaged in for most of his life. (A man building a temple in the desert in one of the most isolated places on Earth gets little outer confirmation). He planned to place what he called the ‘travelling stone’ with the hidden stone, and saw in the future a stone mandala at the temple site composed of stones from different parts of the world that might be drawn there for that purpose.
We also carried a donation gathered to support their work in the Gobi, and he spoke of the stipulation that his teachers had given him that the temple could only be constructed with what he called ‘pure money’, which we took to mean money given with pure intent. He said that in some ways this had made the construction harder and had meant that it took longer, but he understood through the process how important this piece of guidance was.
After a quick visit to see Nicholas Roerich’s King of Shamballa painting in the Zanazabar Museum of Fine Arts, it was onward to Sainshand where many of the artifacts that had been dug up are on display in the Danzan Ravjaa museum. (Some of the excavated objects remain at the temple site and fifteen of the trunks are still buried.) Our guide at the museum was Altangerel’s daughter Intiktik 5, who carefully explained each piece.
Danzan was a poet, teacher, physician, dramatist and musician. He was the first teacher to allow women in his school, and families from all over Mongolia and Tibet sent their daughters to learn alongside the monks. His honouring of the feminine principle
was one of the things that set this lama apart from others and was also to cause him conflict with the spiritual hierarchy of his time. He built temples to honour both the red hat and yellow hat lineages. He was both an ascetic, walling himself up for long periods, and a libertine known for embracing strong drink as well as women. Indeed he had a tantric approach to all dualities. Here is an example from his poetry:
White and black are inseparable
Good and bad are inseparable
Yes and no are inseparable.
Everything has an opposite but no reality
Emptiness is the miracle
Which has no shape
No direction to come and go
No colour to identify
No space to exist
Emptiness is the miracle of being6
There is a woodcutting of the stamp that he used to graduate students in his school—the bottom half of which could be removed indicating a mastery of the higher chakras only. He wrote music the way it sounds in long looping strokes of the quill. His music, poetry and plays are still performed throughout the country.
Of course there are many stories that weave the borderline between mythology and history—the inner and outer realities—but one that I particularly liked and actually saw the evidence of was a peace-making mission that Danzan Ravjaa embarked upon. A man had been knifed to death at the monastery and so the lama asked for all knives that could be used as weapons from the surrounding area to be brought to him.
Of course there are many stories that weave the borderline between mythology and history—the inner and outer realities—but one that I particularly liked and actually saw the evidence of was a peace-making mission that Danzan Ravjaa embarked upon. A man had been knifed to death at the monastery and so the lama asked for all knives that could be used as weapons from the surrounding area to be brought to him.
In the morning there was a pile of knives on his doorstep, which he arranged to be melted down and then cast into the ‘Statue of 10,000 Knives’ (now on display in the monastery).
I could not help but wonder what global sculpture could be made for the United Nations if each country was asked to give just one of its weapons (tank, plane, missile etc.) to be melted down and cast into a symbol for global peace.
On the afternoon of August 12 we headed for the Gobi sunrise ger camp and promptly lost our way in the desert, arriving at the edge of
Shamballa Land itself before a large black bird hovered over the bonnet of the car for long enough to attract our attention and call a stop. We back-tracked, found the ger camp and spent a restless night’s sleep full of strange dreams. In the morning I wrote this poem:
The final destination is an anathema to the seeking soul
Shamballa a firing squad
For the surrendered rebel leader
Eating his last ego meal
On the edge of annihilation
Reading his will and last confession
In the winds’ calligraphy
On the desert sands
There is no original sin
It’s all derivative
Arising from the illusion
I confess I have never really existed
In spite of this persistent illusion
Never having existed
Nothing I ever did thought or felt
Has left its mark on the
When they come for me
Tell them I have already slipped
Back behind the curtain
Of eternal innocence
This is not poison
On my soul’s lips
But the cure
I no longer want to be a bodhisattva
Or serve the greater good
These worthy goals seem pretentious now
The pre-dawn dreams of a waking soul
A rock pool’s brief kingdom
In the twelve hours between tides
I would only be that which I cannot not be
My only purpose to have no purpose Of my own
Let this individual
life be A small and simple thing
A grain of sand
Shaped by 51,000 tides Glinting in
the Gobi Nothing more and nothing
less Than the living face of the universe
Let there be nothing left of me
Capable of trying to achieve anything
Let me rest In emptiness
To go forth no more
And by remaining
Permeate it all Forever
The temple itself is constructed of 108 stupas blazing white in the open desert about an hour’s drive south-east of Sainshand. Two great stone breasts mark a doorway that leads to two monastery temples which have been rebuilt in honour of the two Buddhist lineages. Then from the monastery one walks past petrified wood and dinosaur bones to the Shamballa site itself. This desert was once a great swamp and this area around the monastery and temple is remarkable for the deep red colour permeating the local geology.
The temple is laid out in the familiar Shamballa square pattern with openings in the four sides. The southern gate is where one enters and leaves, and at the northern gate is the ‘brain ovoo’ or the symbolic crown chakra where vodka is transmuted into soma. Procedures in this great open-air temple are followed according to protocol (outlined adequately in the webpage referred to above).
Of particular interest to our theme are three old stone circles in the centre of the site which are remnants of the original temple. They align with a mountain through the western gate called Black mountain and one of the rituals is to stand facing this mountain and throw a cup of vodka in that direction.
There are three sacred mountains in Mongolia. The first is Mother mountain in the north, the second is Golden mountain and the third is Black mountain. Here we have the threefold archetype of planet—sun— black hole which is further reinforced by the mythology of Black mountain.
The mountain is said to be inhabited by the spirit of the third Lord of the Gobi. He left his body halfway up and travelled to the summit in spirit because the Lord of Death had asked him to testify concerning his own father’s sins. He truthfully reported them, but by the time he got back to his body his followers had burned it thinking he too was dead. Now he must hear the prayers of others as they climb and intercede on their behalf with Death. The third
Lord corresponds to Saturn and the atmic plane, while the fifth Lord, Danzan Ravjaa, corresponds to Venus and the mental plane. The antahkarana between the personality and the monad is constructed via the triad and completed at the Third Degree when Venus and Saturn are united. This motif is further reinforced by Formula Five given by the Master DK. This is the formula associated with Shamballa and consists of three words in a triangular relationship: “THE SUN… BLACK…ANTAHKARANA”.7 The Shamballa temple is positioned between the sunrise in the east and Black mountain in the west and is thus a living symbol for the construction of the higher antahkarana between soul and monad.
Part of the beauty of the desert is its starkness. There is nothing to draw the attention outward. Our bodies have journeyed far across the globe, bumped along virtually non-existent tracks, slept fitfully under starlight, eaten strange foods and squatted for relief in the open desert. Now it is time for the consciousness to fall towards its source.
I closed my eyes on the image of a falcon flying far above that triggered two poems interweaving in my mind. The first from Rainer Maria Rilke:
I am circling around God, the ancient tower
And I have been circling for a thousand years
And I still don’t know
If I am a falcon
Or a storm or a great song.8
And the second from Yeats:
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in the sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again;
but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast,
its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?9
A vivid period of inner teaching followed, the essence of which was the imminent emergence of the spiritual centre we call Shamballa under whatever name, within the consciousness of humanity. I was shown that just as uprising kundalini energy can cause earthquakes and eruptions as the pressure from the core activates fault -lines in the Earth’s crust, so the descending Shamballa fire also places pressure on the fault-lines of consciousness that exist in the mental field— religion, philosophy, politics and racial thoughtforms. The energy that is designed to produce liberation can be destructive, which is why it is held in reserve until the demand from humanity for the revelation of synthesis is strong enough. When the soul is freed from the mind and returns to its monadic source, it immediately recognises its universal nature and an energetic quality becomes active in the soul itself via the jewel. This quality, simply because it is universal and simultaneously present in all souls, recognises itself everywhere—and more specifically recognises through resonance when it is consciously active. Put another way, souls that have been home or are in conscious touch with the monad, automatically through spiritual resonance recognise this same quality in others. Historically these souls, while in touch with each other in an ashramic sense, have remained isolated as points of centralising influence in their different groups and centres of consciousness around the world. Now as the Shamballic centre is emerging and under the Law of Assembly, these souls are being drawn together into more conscious contact and forming a centre within humanity able to stand and withstand the Shamballic force. They come from all spiritual traditions and disciplines and their consciously recognised work is to collectively hold this energy as a reservoir and a seed of the Will. As Pluto moves through Capricorn and the power structures of the planet come under irresistible pressure to transform, this seed will flower within the human centre as an expression of spiritual governance based on the revelation of universal principles.
After the ‘teaching’ we entered a period of profound silence and energetic recharging that gave a new meaning to the phrase ‘rest in peace’. In that peace was sound however—a sound that I had recognised in 2000 at the start of my transmission work and written about in this way:
The core assertion was an energetic ‘sound’, a fiat of freedom, which would gradually clothe itself in ideas, and these ideas would be written down in books and studied. The ideas and the books were not the Teaching however, the Teaching was the reality of the affirmation of inherent freedom ‘sounded’ by a Being with intent to liberate those held within the illusion of mind. Any thoughts or ideas that clothe that ‘sound’ will have at their core that purposeful reality.
The Teaching contains then the great Shamballic ‘sound’ stepped down by Hierarchy in such a way that it liberates human consciousness from illusion and then makes of it a sheath for anchoring that ‘sound’ in the depths of matter.10
It was therefore a natural progression from the temple to find a path to an enormous bell standing alone on a desert ridge. This bell is the perfect symbol for the sound of Shamballa, and a complement to the invisible dorje or lightning bolt that the temple itself is designed to receive. We had permission to ring the bell, which is done with a large wooden post, and the tone was so deep that you could feel the vibrations directly through the body.
Returning from the bell I found Sharon in deep conversation with three women who were escorting us. They had exchanged gifts and were speaking about the importance of Danzan Ravjaa’s role in empowering the feminine principle, when they sprang up and motioned for us to follow.
They led us by jeep a little way into the desert and suddenly there was a well. An old car tyre surrounded a hole in the sand and a goatskin on a rope served as a bucket when lowered into the cool depths. Intiktik raised the first full load and without warning I received about a gallon of sweet cold water directly onto my face and chest. The women roared with laughter and thenone by one each was subjected to the same beautiful indignity
until we stood in a dripping circle beaming at each other.
A herd of goats arrived at full trot over the nearest dune, having heard and smelled the water, which was promptly shared with them as well.
Many mystical stories surround the locating of the well and the curative properties of the water, but standing there I was struck most by the simple everyday miracle of any well in the middle of any desert.
Suddenly in the very heart of this seared land there was life, and all living things were glad and refreshed by it. And here were three young women released from the solemn and reverent affairs of museum and temple, bursting with a natural and irrepressibly sensual and sensible spirit which was waiting to bubble up and renew us.
Our next stop was Black mountain, a rather ominous mound of dark volcanic sand and rock that reminded me a little of Mt Doom in
The Lord of the Rings. This is the mountain that we threw vodka towards at the Shamballa temple and is said
to house the spirit of the third Gobi
Lord. Halfway up the mountain I paused at a small shrine said to
mark the spot where his body was burned, lit a candle for my own father and contemplated the mysteries of death, truth and sacrifice. It is local tradition that women climb only to this point, so I left Sharon listening to the exquisite music of a lone flautist performing one of Danzan Ravjaa’s songs and trudged up the last few hundred metres.
On the peak with the desert all around and the sun dropping into the west in Leo, I was meditatively aware of the black hole at the galactic centre overhead.
Looking back, the symbology is obvious. In the triad it is Venus or the feminine principle of the soul that builds the causal body on the higher mental plane which allows for the soul’s full expression in the three worlds, and is the base camp for the soul’s ascent to the monad. Mercury or the masculine principle of the soul must climb the mountain (atma ruled by Saturn) and receive the dark fire of the monad, which upon return ignites the causal body. After the burning, nothing remains but fire—spirit and matter are at-oned—which
is represented by the spirit ensouling the mountain.
This theme of the relationship between soul and spirit continued as we sought a place to camp for the night and experience the stillness of the desert. Years before, Sharon and I had both separately discovered two pictures and
bought them for each other, only to find they were almost identical images of a naked woman wrapped by a dark figure in the desert. That night lying down to sleep, it felt as if we were that naked and vulnerable figure surrendering into the velvet darkness of the Gobi. We had camped on a small promontory where we found the bones of a mountain goat or sheep and a small cave that might have once housed a meditating ascetic.
During the night we woke to a distant rumbling like thunder, which built slowly into an almost impossibly loud growling, as if
a gigantic lion was roaring right outside the tent. And then the sandstorm hit with prolonged gusts, followed by eerie silence and then the same build- up to another crescendo. Several times I had to stumble out into the dark stinging sand to re-secure the tent, and by morning the storm had almost passed. Looking out at dawn, the gusts were made visible across the face of the desert as they lifted before them sails of sand like enormous yachts, following each other in tacking duels across what was once a great sea.
We travelled south towards a canyon in the desert that is deep enough that a frozen glacier can be found there even in summer, and we stopped at an oasis of another sort—the three camels ger camp, which it must be said, was the finest accommodation we found in Mongolia.
Three Camels Ger Camp, Gobi Desert 16 August 2007
I had spent the day writing an esoteric treatise on the stone/wine mysteries that trace the symbolic ascent of the soul from a stone buried in the earth at the base chakra to bread at the heart, to the wine of soma experienced at the crown chakra. Little did I know how quickly an experiential component of my studies was approaching. Dusk was near and my shoulders were cramped from being hunched over the computer, so I decided to take a walk around the hill where we were camped and watch the sun set behind the Altai mountains.
Sitting amongst the rocks, I was approached by four children from a nomadic horse- herding family. I assumed they were hatching some clever scheme to obtain something from a foreigner. Three girls and a boy ranging in age from four to ten, they sat down about
six feet away from me and conferred with each other. One by one they approached, held out their hands and introduced themselves in Mongolian. I returned their greeting and stated my name four times and then there was more conferring.
The youngest, a girl, then approached and held out her hand as if to lead me. “Okay”, was my first thought, “here comes the scam”. But she was so innocent and vulnerable in her reaching towards me that my own child-self ignored my cynic, took her hand and followed.
They led me a fair way through the rocks to a small mound where they had created a circle of stones in the outline of a ger
(nomadic tent home). They entered solemnly through the ‘door’ and sat in a cross, leaving the north and south open. I was then invited to enter and sit to the left of the door, and then the young girl again took the lead by producing from under a dirty piece of cloth a rock which had two depressions in the centre of it, which each held a stone. One was elongated and the other round, rather like a small baseball bat and ball.
Like a sacred sacrament she lifted the long stone and ‘poured’ a long draught as if from a bottle, into the circular stone which she then passed to me. Holding that ‘cup’—for there was no doubt that such it was—I entered a timeless space that is as much a part of the human psyche as its fascination with fire. I was in a ritual as simple and as sacred as life itself. I drank. Deeply. And then I passed the cup and so did they. After the little girl had drunk they all looked at me to see my reaction. And I knew that look. It was the look every child, lost in the mystery, gives to an adult. Was I going to break the spell? The eldest was ready to scoff if I showed the slightest sign.
So I baked an imaginary loaf of bread in the centre, broke it and offered them each a piece to eat. They did so with a delicious light in their eyes which said both “yes, we were right to trust you” and “hey, at least we had a stone symbol for our cup and this bread is totally without substance!”
We shared the few surface exchanges that our lack of each other’s language made possible and sat in the silence of the soul’s communion for as long as we could possibly justify, and I thought my heart would burst with the simplicity of it all.
No big deal—a childish game—and yet I felt more honoured by the presence that manifested itself through this synchronicity than any adult ceremony I have ever attended. It was getting dark and their mother had begun to call in the universal language of mothers.
I went back to my four-star tourist ger tent and wept with joy and the aching recognition of the vulnerable and yet invincible beauty of the human soul.
The sip of that stone wine was a life-giving elixir straight from the real fountain of youth—the incarnating dignity and divinity of the next generation of the human spirit.
Our next stop was Khogor els—great dunes of sand that accurately reflect the image that comes to mind when one thinks of the Arabian desert. Lawrence here, did not look so composed that night doubled over in the desert while the watermelonhe had so gleefully scoffed during the day tried to leave through every available orifice at once.
Still impacted by the experience of Black mountain, we found a small reference to a place called White mountain in the Altai range and so—ever ready to reconcile dualities—we set out to find it. It must be said that no roads exist in this or practically any other area of Mongolia. One simply heads in the general direction of the target and stops at one nomadic tent after another asking the way to the next one, careful not to imbibe the inevitably offered aairag (fermented mare’s milk) in the process.
After two days in such pursuit we met a Russian van coming in the other direction that had been trying to find the same place. They reported that it was closed, having being commandeered by the Chinese military, and the local people were staging a hunger strike in response. We decided to go on regardless and found a nomad who said he could guide us to it. We never encountered anyone else and had the best part of a day to explore this fascinating site.
In the mountain is a cave, called White cave, where they have found Stone Age human fossils rivaling those in Africa, from 700,000 years ago.
One can see why Stone Age humans would have thrived here—there are natural streams with berries and wild flowers, and the cave itself is a house- and-garden affair. A natural chimney vault in the centre is further enhanced by a stunning décor.
The whole of the central chamber is covered in quartz crystal so that when a fire is lit the light is reflected from a thousand facets, like being on the inside of an enormous chandelier. Sitting there it was easy to recognise that while civilisation adds layers of accumulated knowledge and sophisticated technology, the source of creativity and the inherent perception of the mysteries of divinity are timelessly present in the human soul.
The linking of the mountain with the cave and the crystal also brought to mind the diamond and the reconciliation of dualities. All injunctions to find the centre are similar:
In the ocean find an island. On the island there is a tree. On the tree grows a fruit. In a mountain there is a cave. In that cave there is a jewel. Find the jewel. In the desert there is an oasis. At that oasis there is a well. Drink from the well.
When in one duality, find the other and then find that which lies behind and gives life to both. The guardian in all cases is some version of dragon or kundalini manifestation—the overcoming of which indicates the conquering of death, or more correctly the illusion of death that gives rise to attachment to one half of a duality.
Geometrically we can represent this process as spheres within spheres (circles inside circles). Or diamonds within diamonds. It has been said that the soul is a doorway to infinite tenderness and diamond clarity and these dual components of Love-Wisdom are found in most traditions. Their expression in the occult physiology of the human soul is the jewel in the lotus.
Once the form is fully built and the jewel revealed or the centre reached, then lightning strikes and the experience of Life begins as the soul is increasingly liberated from its ‘halfway house’.
At this stage in the journey we were looking for a place to hole up for a while and integrate, without the driver and translator, so it was with some relief that we watched the terrain change from desert to the lush mountains of the Mongolian heartland—the Khangai range. Coming over a steep pass the track was deeply eroded by water and our jeep finally succumbed to gravity as some important piece of steel shattered in the front axle. These mechanical horses can be literal life-lines—as one group had discovered the previous winter in the Gobi— four people were found frozen to death in their broken-down jeep, having spent their last energy compiling a four-page diatribe on the inadequacy of Russians and Russian jeep manufacturers in particular.
We never saw our driver again. We found out later that he had borrowed a local horse and ridden to a nomadic camp where he had to repair their only motorcycle, which promptly broke down again each time he traversed one of the dozen rivers to a ‘town’ where he borrowed a car to get to a ‘town with a phone’.
Meanwhile we left the translator to mind the car and headed out to find an idyllic campsite next to a river in a remote mountain valley, where we spent the next three days eating our meagre supplies and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. The first night our after-dinner
entertainment was a spectacular thunderstorm framed through the mouth of the valley. For five hours lightning flashed like great pillars of flame between the clouds and the desert over such a large area that there were always five or six standing bolts at any one time. It was a stunning display that made me think of the huge copper deposits that have recently been found in the Gobi11 and wonder if there were also some outer electromagnetic component to the inner electric fire of the Shamballic centre.
At night the temperature dropped so steeply that we couldn’t sleep and had to roll heated river stones from the fire into our sleeping bags. The days were hot and we ventured into the forest. One afternoon we managed to ‘rent’ the horses of two herding boys passing through the valley, and found our way across rivers and passes to a serene glade. On another occasion two local girls came to our campfire and entertained us. One came from a family whose ger tent had a small satellite that received CNN! She had decided that she wanted to be a singer like those she saw on TV and to her we were a connection to that world and that ambition. And so it was. We got her to audition for us—using a stick as a pretend microphone and the video function on our camera. Once we edit it we will put it on YouTube and get our translator to help her get to a local town with internet and see it! Who knows, maybe that will provide the impetus for her to pursue her dream. We were given ample evidence for the intersection of different global cultures the next day when our rescuer arrived in a brand new 2007 Toyota freshly imported from USA.
Our driver had got word to our translator’s brother, who then set out to retrieve us. A decade before he had been a simple herder with a dream. In Mongolia there is an annual festival where people compete in the three local sports wrestling, archery and horse racing. He won the wrestling and with that, overnight fame and subsequent wealth. Now he was ‘a river to his people’ helping horse breeding programmes, building temples and—luckily for us—riding out on his white charger to rescue stranded foreigners.
During the three days at our campsite we had time to integrate and contemplate the Mongolian experience, and one of the things I thought about was power. Mongolia forms an obvious triangle with Tibet and China, with Mongolia holding the First Ray point, Tibet the Second Ray and China the Third. There were said to be three types of ruler at Shamballa (equated in a way to the three kings of the Orient and also to the three Buddhas of Activity). One of these rulers holds the outer ‘king’ function—rulership of civilisation. The second holds the ‘priest’ function, and the third is the ‘priest- king’ or Melchisedek. Out of Mongolia came Genghis Khan to create the largest empire the world had known. His brief was simple. God had told him that he was chosen to be Master of all the world. He simply rode up to a town or city and informed them of this fact and presented them with two options: Accept this divinely ordained reality and surrender, in which case the local king could continue to rule under the Khan’s dominion (and pay taxes)—or be annihilated. The more thoroughly some cities were annihilated the more sensitive it seemed others became to hearing the word of God. The Mongolian empire subsequently centered itself in China—first at Xanadu and then Beijing. Most kingdoms in history were created and maintained in a similar fashion, with increasing diplomacy and sophistication gradually forming a layer over the underlying threat of force. This type of power must always be protected however, because rebels are always arising within or without the empire seeking to test the reality of the ever-present whispers of spirit as heard by the personality “YOU are the one”.
The power of the priest is more subtle. He hears the same whisperings but the emphasis is different: “You are the ONE”. The good of the whole is not now an immediate extension of the instinctual drives of the individual—a mediating world of consciousness appears. This mediating world crystallises into philosophies, religions and political parties. The consciousness becomes principles and then ideas and then belief systems. This type of power must also be defended. New ideas and belief structures new heresies to the status quo—are always arising and must be absorbed or eliminated.
We are more used to the way these power issues are at work in Western society, but we had a unique insight into a similar situation in the Oriental system. At a small temple we visited, monks from all over the land had gathered for a three day festival to celebrate the recognition of a local lama as an ‘incarnation’. This young man had had what seemed like a terminal heart problem in 2000 and had been allowed to travel to Tibet when it seemed likely he was going to die. In Tibet he was recognised as an incarnation in a particular lineage and from then on his heart was fine, and now he was being officially ordained. Watching him I was aware of two very human reactions that must come with this particular territory: On the one hand he was obviously pleased in a very humble way to be recognised and honoured. On the other hand there was also a slight air of resignation, and I realised just what a sacrifice of freedom must also be entailed. The lineage contains its own hierarchies, traditions and beliefs which serve both as a wisdom harvest to nourish the human soul, but also as a confinement—perhaps more like the banks of a river than a prison, but a limitation none the less.
In the West these two forms of power have been separated into papacy and empire, or church and state; although there are elements in Christianity and especially in Islam that seek both a higher and lower unification. In modern times science has almost taken over as a form of priestly power and therefore is part of the consciousness power-base.
Behind these two forms of power and at their root is the Third (or First) Aspect of the monad. Hinduism has the concept of Vishnunabi, Buddhism that of Chakravati, and Western esotericism the Central Spiritual Sun—all conveying the idea of a hub or centre of a greater wheel. Power is always associated with the unmoving mover or the centre of any field of motion. But there are different kinds of power as there are different fields of activity.
Planetary power is related to the personality, the king and the planetary pole or core.
Solar power is related to the soul, the priest and the sun as the light and knowledge centre of the solar system.
Galactic power is related to the monad, the priest-king and the black hole at the dark centre of the galaxy.
Universal power is related to the fourth quality and the universal centre which is everywhere and nowhere.
The three powers that when balanced reveal a fourth, are represented by the three Buddhas of Activity around Sanat Kumara, or the three kings that attended the birth of the Christ.
If China is related to the power of the personality, Tibet to the power of the soul and Mongolia to the power of the monad, one wonders how they will come into right relationship as a triangle. China has already absorbed Tibet and one does not have to spend much time in Mongolia to notice how deep the resolve to avoid a similar fate runs in the Mongolian soul. The legend of Shamballa itself may have something to say about how this power will manifest itself. It is said that a time will come when the Barbarian king will dominate the entire world. The female Buddha manages to incarnate as the wife of the Barbarian king and tells him of a pure land—Shamballa—that is not under her husband’s dominion. The king then directs all his armies to conquer Shamballa, and the King of Shamballa representing a higher form of power, is able to ride out and take control of the outer world.
In this analogy we could see the Barbarian king as the personality, the female Buddha as the soul and the king of Shamballa as the monad. While it is the source of the power of both soul and personality, the monad has no active power in the three worlds where it is unknown by the personality, and limited power in the triad where it is known by the soul. Once the personality has mastered the lower worlds and been informed of the higher by the soul, it then attempts to master them as well. That attempt invokes the response of a much deeper power that can then take conscious control of all its ‘sheaths’.
An analogy can be found in the attempts made by early scientists to prove that the sun revolved around the Earth. The more they worked on the problem and the more data they obtained, the more they had revealed to them the underlying truth which was the opposite of their starting perspective.
The monad then—as the First Aspect of the trinity—is the last to be revealed, and its power is only drawn upon in emergencies until that point in the evolutionary cycle when both the forms and the consciousness have been prepared for its revelation. The personal self calls on this power in times of survival emergency via the kundalini force or Agharti. The soul calls upon this power in times of ‘purpose emergency’ via Shamballa. The extremity of the soul in service calls forth the monad.12
We are currently just past the midway point of the second solar system where the emphasis is on the development of the Second Aspect or the soul, and so we are at the equivalent of a ‘purpose emergency’ that is coinciding with a planetary ‘survival emergency’. What is needed is a synthesis in consciousness so that the various religions, philosophies and nations can recognise a
common unity and create a global governance structure that balances both the kingly and priestly forms of power. Both Humanity and Hierarchy are calling on Shamballa in its dual expression directly and simultaneously. One of the results is the creation at the midway point between Humanity and Hierarchy of the centre called the New Group of World Servers who are able to work with the Will force directly. Another is the anchoring of a ‘seed of the Will’ in the consciousness of this system that will form the germ for the development of the next system.
The central idea here is that it is not a central idea that will form the core of the needed and emerging centres. They will not be developed around vision statements or philosophy, no matter how developed or refined. Shamballa is a centre of energy and not a centre of ideas. The soul is the source of ideas. The monad is the source of a spiritual instinct that is always sourcing both ideas and actions for the greater good of the larger system. These ideas and actions are not self-consistent on their own level of operation, but ever-changing as they remain faithfully connected to a higher synthetic principle. These centres will be neither uniform (one form) or unanimous (one soul) but—to coin a new word—‘univital’ (One Life).
This deeper instinct is not the intuition, but is revealed by the intuition as the soul becomes ‘Self-taught’, locating its authority in the monad and not in any outer system of thought or behaviour.
One way then, of noticing the release of this higher form of power in the world is to notice where both the personality and the soul power structures turn at times of emergency. As we build towards 2025 and the re-entry of the Fourth Ray of harmony through conflict, we might expect the tension between the personality and soul in both the individual and planetary sense to increase as part of the revelatory process.
Experientially I tend to think of this Third (or First) kind of power as a simple fool-like freedom that does not seek and is unaware of any kind of status or recognition in either of the lesser kingdoms. Identified with ‘being’ as a primary orientation, it does not concern itself with knowing or doing. It does not even know that it exists in a relative sense to other identities because it partakes of the One identity. To the universal self it matters little ‘who’ is the embodiment of which principle or idea, and ‘who’ has conquered which piece of the surface of the planet. There is a simplicity based on essentialisation that is not naïve but disinterested. Archetypally this energy is related to the fool who seems to have no power at court and yet is more free than both the ruler and the pontiff to say and do whatever he or she wants, usually at the times of greatest tension when all else has failed.
When Humanity is able to respond directly to the Shamballa force then energy will flow in both directions around the triangle of Humanity, Hierarchy and Shamballa. The three forms of ‘planetary power’ will be in active relationship with each other and the result will be the revelation of a fourth quality of deity—the energy of the ‘saving force’.13
Thus response to the Shamballa force and the emergence of this centre into human consciousness is the precursor to a deeper synthetic drama involving the planet as a whole. And that is a journey we are all making together.